The day we visited McDonalds

Friday, October 17, 2014

We’ve always said that McDonald’s isn’t an Adventure. But, when they got in touch with us a couple of weeks ago, they promised a Maccas experience like never before. We receive emails all the time to come in for a burger “on the house”, but always decline in favour of coming unannounced where we’re sure we’ll receive the same burger as the guy walking in behind us. In this instance, we had the chance to be one of the first people to check out a new concept that’s somewhat of a big deal to a company who’s served billions of burgers world wide. So, before we knew it myself (Z) and D were on a plane up to Sydney to build our own custom McDonald’s Gourmet Burger.

After a few handshakes with the McDonald’s folk we were standing in front of some touch screens punching in a variety of different options we’d like in our burger. You get an interesting amount of choice that we really didn’t expect to find in an Australian McDonald’s. Options like a Brioche bun, Tortilla chips and Applewood Smoked Bacon were all a surprise. We decided that we were going to make two different kinds of burgers: something that the average punter would try and make (basically throw anything and everything in a burger) and then something that would make Ron Swanson proud (meat x meat x meat).
D threw in mushrooms, caramelised onions, fresh onions and jalapenos amongst the traditional McDonald’s burger fair and I went straight into double beef, Jack cheese, 4 x bacon and jalapenos. Once we’d finalised our order a receipt was spat out, we found a table outside and observed. Within about 5 minutes our burgers were brought over by an enthusiastic Maccas team member posing as a waiter (table service is all part of it) and hoed in.
It’s probably the first thing I thought of (and the last): it doesn’t taste like McDonald’s – not the McDonald’s I’m used to anyway. Granted, D’s burger was an utter mess and no doubt there’ll be plenty of people getting a product that they think might taste great when ordering, but really shouldn’t even exist. If I were in charge I’d actually have the people who select certain combinations like no bun ( yes you can do that ) escorted quietly out of the store. There is a reason why Big Macs have stood the test of time. First off, McDonald’s are a squillionaire corporation so everything they do will be thought out and researched. And, secondly, because everyone knows what you’re going to get with a Big Mac; familiarity. So, when people start creating God Knows What, we’d probably advise them to get a side of Cheeseburger to carry them through the rest of their day.

The Double Meat Quad Bacon creation on the other hand was seriously a pleasure. You probably wouldn’t want to run a marathon afterward but it’s more in line with the McDonald’s most of us know. The patties tasted like an upgrade from the normal menu and with that amount of bacon plus some Jack cheese you shouldn’t be able to mess it up.The things that let D and I down though were the details. When opting for a more meaty burger other things need to be upped to balance it out. The same amount of sauce and jalapenos were used that a single patty might’ve just covered, so the zing of spice didn’t really come through. I guess thats something that a production line might miss when you compare it to a local burger joint.
So, we had some ups and downs, but generally we had a decent feed. Some chains like Grill’d might feel a pinch in the big cities, but where this is really going to take off is in more rural areas where they don’t have more Gourmet Burger options. It’s hard to predict how Australia will feel about paying over $16 for a meal at Maccas though.
The enormity of the task at hand for McDonalds is rather scary: within the next 6-9 months they plan on rolling this out to every store in the country. So, start thinking about what you might want to cram into a burger now, because you might not have to wait too long (unless there’s a line of course, then you’ll probably wait a while). We have no idea how they’re going to pull it off but if anyone can do it it’s probably these guys.

P.S They flew us to Sydney, paid for our transfers and our meals, then left us to it.


I really can’t see how this is going to work in Melbourne as there are soooooo many quality burger joints making quality burgers for less than $16.

Aaron ( October 17, 2014 at 15:37 )

I can see queues of Asian girls with SLRs here in Sydney already.

cloudcontrol ( October 19, 2014 at 09:29 )

Ugh, cloudcontrol, you racist fuck!

Danny Bos ( October 27, 2014 at 22:11 )

Well that escalated quickly ..

Anonymous ( November 23, 2014 at 12:58 )

Good after a jig

Jig jig ( January 14, 2015 at 11:37 )

Can we meet up and get jiggy in Macca’s?

Horny Goat ( January 14, 2015 at 11:40 )

As you said, you wanted to come in unannounced and get the same as the next person in line would..
The conundrum with McDonald’s is that when they release something its good for the first week or two.. then the quality and serving size goes down hill.
To top it, the privately owned franchises fall under different rules, so when you make a complaint about them in most cases Head office defends them or says their is little they can do.
McDonald’s is trying to present it self as an fine dinning establishment, but in real life, it will always be Just another fast food takeaway, that struggles to maintain a basic level of consistency, with its already short listed menu.

I will only eat at McDonald’s if I have no other options!

McBurgled To'Offten ( January 14, 2015 at 12:08 )

bring back the mcrib for a start. There are plenty of things in the US menu that could also be brought to Australia.

Michael ( January 14, 2015 at 18:02 )

Sounds like your money would be better off spent at Grill’d. We all know the McDonalds version of gourmet sets the bar incredibly low.

Steelo ( January 15, 2015 at 12:26 )

Mouth watering…!!

Question: When will the Georgie Meat Pies available at Sutton Forest be available generally?

Geoff ( January 15, 2015 at 17:23 )

Grill’d are some of the worst burgers I’ve ever eaten. Will give this a go though. If you want a perfect burger go to Marys or the Oxford Tavern also do some good ones.

D ( January 16, 2015 at 16:09 )

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